U.S. occupation forces landing in Japan at the end of World War II immediately needed staff who could communicate with the defeated Japanese. Japanese American soldiers formed the core of the translation and interpretation service, putting them in the often awkward position of being conquerors who shared a heritage with the enemy. One of the most common questions they were asked by the Japanese was: “What is democracy?” Read full story here.
The Manzanar Committee announced on March 26 that Dr. Arthur A. Hansen, renowned scholar and co-founder of the Japanese American Oral History Program, and educator and former Manzanar incarceree Mas Okui have been chosen as the 2014 recipients of the Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award. A pioneering effort over four decades, the Japanese American Oral History Project recorded and transcribed hundreds of interviews and, periodically, illuminated their contents and perspectives in published anthologies and unpublished theses. Along with Mitson, Hansen also coordinated the first lecture series on the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans, which included a presentation by Embrey. Hansen and Mitson also authored the pioneering oral history book “Voices Long Silent: An Oral History Inquiry into the Japanese American Evacuation.” For full story click here.